The Warwickshire Open was introduced in 1946 and yesterday saw the 71st edition thereof. The venue was Coventry Finham and Liam won with a score of 6 under par followed in 2nd place by Matt Cryer on 5 under and he had the relative benefit of being a Finham member. This is a significant achievement and one that Liam should be very proud of and one for which all Olton’s members should pat him on the back when they next see him.
The event pits the top 25 Warwickshire professionals with the top 25 in the Warwickshire Amateur Championship which is played each year in May. From its inception, it was won exclusively by the professionals including a victory in 1968 by the only other Olton player to win, the then club professional, Tom Collinge. The sequence was eventually broken in 1973, when Peter McEnvoy produced the first amateur’s success. He went on to become the country’s leading amateur subsequently winning two British Amateur Championships. Up to shortly after that time, the leading players tended to be professionals and clearly that was a good reason it took such a long time for the amateurs to break through in this championship. That breakthrough included a victory for Paul Broadhurst in 1984 (he won it again as a professional in 2013) pre his professional career and of course, Andy Sullivan who won it three times.
So there are some notable names who have lifted this illustrious cup but its history does not end there. In total, five Ryder players have been victorious. Firstly, Jack Hargreaves (Sutton Coldfield) was picked for the 1951 Ryder Cup at Pinehurst but for some reason didn’t actually play a game; Ralph Moffitt (Hearsall) in 1961; and most famously Peter Butler who was the long time pro at Harborne. He was a stalwart of the professional game in the time of Peter Allis, Dai Rees, Neil Coles, Bernard Hunt, Harry Weetman etc. and played in four Ryder cups. 1991 saw Paul Broadhurst successfully win two out of two at Kiawah Island and now Andy Sullivan is shortly to be the fifth.
Liam’s name is accordingly appended to the august list. It may be the pinnacle of his career which is excellent in itself but, as one can see, maybe, just maybe it will lead to…the stars or beyond. Well done again Liam, I’m sure the whole Club is proud of you!!!